Cajun heritage and worked for everything

ThinkingFeldon Starns,
Summerville, SC.

I come from a lower middle class family. I was the first to graduate collage in my family. I worked full time at menial jobs and paid for everything myself. No loans, grants, scholarships, or aid. Nothing was given to me. If working inside old fuel tanks in a shipyard is “privilege” then so be it. However I did what it took to better myself and have no guilt about the color of my skin what so ever.

I can only shake my head at the attitudes of so many people these days and times. They believe because their ancestors had a hard time and suffered that they deserve special treatment or I for that matter should feel bad about who I am and where I came from. Well here’s a check for you; life isn’t fair, and everybody had a hard time of it in this country. Admittedly some worse than others, but you can bet if you look close enough you would see the truth in this statement.

My father as a small child had the Klu Klux Klan burn a cross in his yard. Why? He was white? Because he spoke French, was catholic, and my grandfather ran a saloon. He was beaten by his teachers for not speaking English in school. He had it rough even after he left Louisiana. But he worked hard and believed in this country. That’s what he taught his children to do also.

In the 1970’s I had long hair and black friends. I wish I had a dollar for every time the cops pulled me over and tore my car apart looking for drugs or contraband. I’ve been not waited on in restaurants because of how I looked, called names and treated badly by people of all colors. So I really have a hard time with people who walk around talking about this or that, then expecting me to feel bad or guilty about who I am and where I’m from.

My ancestors were put into slavery by the British. Those that were able to make it to New Orleans where shunned by the Creoles, and the white population. They were pushed west into the swamps and bayous to the land no one wanted. There they built a solid foundation and thriving culture with help from no one.

So the next time you want to throw out that life is not fair to you because of the color of your skin remember that every group has had their problems. And to the people of all colors and creeds who hate or think the world owes them something, get a life.


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